The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 19: Episode XIX: Don't Rock the Boat

Episode XIX: Don't Rock the Boat

Music: Blow Up

Our journey continues with a destination of Shanghai to go kick Dehuai's ass in some evil wizard tower he's got set up there. But first, we need to actually travel by boat there... It's a good 1000km distance between Shanghai and Dalian ports. It's gonna take a while to get there by boat. Especially if any manner of Hiatus Curse befalls the party on and their boat during the trip. Heaven forbid...

We're now up to Rank 40 Specter. Really burning through a lot of ranks considering we're not even a quarter of the way through the game... THE BODY REMEMBERS!

No sense waiting around. Let's jump into the Smuggler's Boat Arc of Shadow Hearts!

New Music: Manufacture - Conveyorbelt for Killers
(Hey you should listen to this! It's a cool tune.)

I have no idea what it says on the side of the boat. But, I'd like to think it literally is called "Smuggler's Boat."

Are you all right?
But you seem a little better than before. At least you can talk now.
Not just... streams of projectile vomit... Over and over...
I-I guess… Oh, God, this isn’t right! Do boats always… ROCK like this…?
This is relatively calm, honestly.
Ugh... Alice...?
W-who invented... boats?
I... I'm afraid I don't know, Yuri...
Gonna... find out how to go back in time... and punch... whoever invented... boats...

Why don’t you try going out on the deck? The fresh air might do you some good.
Uh… yeah… Maybe I’ll try that…
Gonna try to... stand up... S-stand back... don't wanna... puke on you...


Yuri picks himself up off the floor.

<shakes head> No, no! I’ll be fine.
I never thought you to be the type to get seasick.
The ocean... is bullshit...
You sure you don't want me to come with you?
I'm OK...

Ron Howard Narrator Voice: He wasn't. Yuri is mad fucked up and can only walk at a slow lumbering gate while he's dying from seasickness. Hanging out in the world's grodiest crew's quarters probably isn't helping his illness. So, let's take Alice's advice and get some air above deck. Which immediately leads to...

<writing in notepad> She would make an excellent research subject. The young man, who calls himself Yuri, also wields unusual forces. In the future, our country must…
…What about my future?
Does it involve getting off this awful tub? If not, I don't care...

H-hey! What are you doing there?! It’s not polite to try to find out a lady’s secrets, sonny boy!
Ugh... Y-you're standing out in the opening... speaking aloud as you write... You're really... awful at... this spy thing, lady...
…Uuuurgh! …W-what’s with the memo? What’s it say?
What?! Oh… you mean… th-this?

Oh, ho ho ho! THIS ol’ thing! It’s just my… diary!! I thought I’d better write down each and every detail of this exciting adventure! Good idea, no?!
I couldn’t… care… less…

Yuri makes like he's going to puke and falls to his knee. Margarete jumps back disgusted.

Don’t you DARE throw up!!
Nnnhgh… Gulp.
Eeeew! Gross! Don’t SWALLOW it!!
<stands up and stands up> Uurgh… I’m… I’m done for…
Write that... in your stupid journal... The ocean... is bullshit... Hurk!
H-how filthy! How disgusting! Go lie down or something! Shoo! Shoo!

Yuri shambles toward the boat's wheelhouse. Something catches his interest as he passes by...

Music: Profile

Yes, but not to worry. The boat is sailing smoothly.
<lets go of the wheel and turns to Kawashima> You know, I didn’t think we’d actually have it this easy.
(Gah! That chin...)
You’re incredible, Lt. Colonel Kawashima! They really think we’re their own personal couriers.
Indeed... The hmm... rustic look of the boat you acquired certainly sold the ruse... What was it being used for before you requisitioned it?
It's best you didn't know, Lt. Colonel. There is a reason I am wearing gloves and avoiding contact with any surfaces.

So, from Shanghai, all we have to do is get them on the special charter and rush them off to Japan!
<paces a bit> We can’t let our guard down. These people butchered the soldiers on the Trans-Siberian Express.
We're also missing several men at the airbase. They may be behind that as well. There was a report from an eyewitness saying someone was struck so hard they "disintegrated." But the same man also claimed there was a talking puppy that fought the suspects and... he may just be a madman spouting jibberish.
Yes, well… I heard about that incident, too, but… I can’t imagine that girl could be capable of such a thing. She seems so sweet… I mean, just look at how she takes care of the young man who’s been sick ever since we left port.
<shivers> I'm afraid I wouldn't have the fortitude to carry on after being caked in that much vomit.
Hmm. It could have been him… that Yuri… that did the butchering.
<turns back to Kato> Kato...
I wanted to see for myself. I wanted to see the girl and her friends with my own eyes. I assume you’ve heard about the old man in Shanghai who continues to plot against our Army…?

<nods> Correct. Thanks to him, we’re having great difficulty gaining any measure of power in Shanghai. Hee, hee. He’s a sharp old scoundrel, that Dehuai. They say he tried the ultimate Taoist magic fifteen years ago and was about to blow Japan to bits.
R... really?
Is "Taoist magic" a codename for a bomb of some sorts?
I cannot say I'm familiar with the specific details of the plot.
I was more caught up on the "magic" part... Are you saying magic is... real, ma'am...?

Who knows? It could be an exaggeration, something my father let slip when he was drunk. Apparently, a colonel in black ops was just barely able to stop Dehuai's ritual at the last moment.
I... I had no idea...

The bloated desk-jockeys we take our orders from don’t have a clue about the size of the country. They know even less about the teeming varieties of people and ways of thinking here.
<turns back to Kato> This “Utopia” we’re pushing… It’s nothing more than a dirty trick shrouded in a cute name. Even I might be just another cog in the wheel of this scheme, helping it move ever onward.

The people here are victims of politics. All they really want to do is get on with their lives.
It's so tiresome to keep having to assassinate spies from the region I hire to continue this political farce.

Lt. Colonel... What do you think the connection between Dehuai and Alice IS…?
Ah, forgive me for going on and on. It’s just boring talk.
Not at all, ma’am!! I always like to hear your thoughts, Lt. Colonel!!
You've only heard my thoughts for the less than 24 hours since we met in my office.
It's been a very intriguing 24 hours!!

…You’re a funny fellow, aren’t you? Fine, let’s get back to the subject at hand. I’ve been tracking Dehuai for some time. Eventually, I learned of the girl he was so desperate to catch.
Is this… Alice?
…Yes. She has a unique spiritual power. Even Tsuji met his death when he encountered her.
Did you ever meet the late Major Tsuji? Enormous, clean shaved head. Pencil mustache. The most hideously tiny face you've ever seen it. It was like a doll's proportions affixed to a pumpkin.
I'm afraid it doesn't ring any bells.
No matter, that pumpkin got split right open.

Dehuai will stop at nothing to get her. If used properly, she’ll be an asset to the Shanghai offensive. I wish to find whether she’ll be a help… or a hindrance… to Japan’s invasion of the mainland.
A Shanghai offensive… so the Japanese Army can take the mainland… Is that your real motivation, Lt. Colonel…?
Hee hee hee…

Music: Manufacture - Conveyorbelt for Killers

Meanwhile, outside Yuri has just been in a fugue state and blanked on that entire conversation revealing Kawashima and Kato's identities and motivations. Look, the guy is having a rough time at the moment. He cannot be expected to be on the ball for a plot dump.

If we continue Yuri's seasick death march across the Smuggler's Boat, we can take a detour to a pile of barrels by the wheelhouse and acquire a new item. Popping this... err... broth in pile form will restore 50 MP and 3 SP. Seems like an item made specifically with Alice in mind.

In order to progress further, we need to speak with everyone onboard. As such, Yuri continues to stumble along the deck until he reaches Zhuzhen at the far end. I'm sure that trail of green mutagen slime leading into the ship's hold is nothing to worry about...

<shakes head> Urgg…! What’s with the scowl, pops? Don’t tell me you’re throwing up from seasickness. Uck…
<turns to Yuri> Heh heh heh. That would be YOU, if I’m not mistaken. Say kid, are you feeling better now?
Hurk... You're a real eagle eye, old man... Do I LOOK like I'm better...
Last I saw you were face down in a puddle of your own vomit... so marginally?

And what do you make of this unearthly aura…? It seems to rise from the sea and permeate the boat.
Unearthly aura?! Ulp… Sorry, buddy… I’m dealing with some pretty earthly problems right now.
<falls to knee> …Hrrkk!!

Zhuzhen recoils in disgust.

Nnnnhgh… Gulp.
<stands back up> Cough… Damn, now I’m just dry-heaving…
What do you expect, kid? I think you puked out more than your body weight already. It was almost impressive in one of those horrific nightmare sorts of ways.
Aren’t we in Shanghai yet? How much longer will it taaaake??
What are you, a ten-year-old?
Ten years of my life have been shaved off by this damned boat! <queasy belch>

Ha ha ha, we should be there by a little after noon tomorrow.
<flinches surprised> What?! I won’t last that long, pal!!
This is why I like trains. You get on. It goes on the one path. Done. It doesn't fall out of the frikkin' sky or wobble like it's drunk... Ugh... Boats are garbage tier transport and are gonna kill me...
Hey, kid, if you’re going to kick the bucket, do it over there, will you? <turns back to looking at the water>
<shakes head> Hmph, some help you are! Couldn’t you have at least brought some medicine for this kind of thing?
You're on your own, kid.
Bleh... You got some anti-cat medicine on you "just in case" but a real common medical problem and nothing? That's some bull!
Sorry, even I cannot plan for every contingency. I'd have brought my anti-whining child remedy if that were the case.

Hrk… You and Miss Spy Genius are big meanies… Alice is the only one who really cares about me!
Then let her go play momma to the sick little boy and let me be.

<ignores Yuri> Hmm. Something is going on, I'm sure of it... The unnatural aura is growing more intense.

Clearing getting some fresh air is doing Yuri no favors. All that's left to do is to cart his sorry looking ass back below deck to Alice's care.

Yuri, are you okay? You didn’t come back. I was getting worried!
<nods> Yeah, I’m fine. I learned just how kind you are, Alice… and how cold the rest of the world is!

Neither of them cares I'm gonna die on this boat. Buncha lousy jerks! All writing in their secret diary and glaring at the water. They don't care!
You're not making a lot of sense right now, Yuri.

<shakes head> Whew. Zhuzhen and Margarete say there’s something wrong outside, but… what could it possibly be?

New Music: Trip or Treat
(A nice piano theme.)

Yuri, your disposition has changed since I first met you. It seems like you’re changing more and more all the time. Maybe it has something to do with your powers… I’m worried about you. It’s like there’s a dark shadow hanging over you… and it’s getting stronger.
I ain't gonna go to the lousy Graveyard feelin' like this... Those masks can eat me till I'm off this stupid boat...
Ugh... Don't worry about it.

Oh? Well, yeah, my powers have just gone a little wild since I met up with you.
<turns away> And now I can fuse with more spirits.
I gotta show you this weird angel slug Fusion I got while you were cursed. It's pretty rad.
But hey, I say things are fine just the way they are.

I haven’t had any headaches lately. No mystery voice, either.
Knock on wood... Voice, I dunno if you can hear me but my head will ACTUALLY explode if you start yelling at me right now...
<turns to Alice> I must be doing something right. If you’re right about the voice wanting to tell me something, and if what the voice says is true… then I want to know who’s voice it is! I’ve decided to protect you at all costs.

<turns away> So, I’m fine with things the way they are.
But you know…
If… if I were to get devoured by the spirits inside me that I’ve fused with… If they take over, and I’m not myself anymore… You’ve gotta kill me, Alice. No hesitation.
I feel like the quack would set me on fire and that'd suck. Margarete has already tried to kill me multiple times and is really bad at it, so she's out. Plus, they're both jerks that don't care about me, so...
<shakes head> …Oh, come on! That’s not funny.
<turns to Alice> It’s no joke…
Don’t worry! You won’t lose to those monsters, so it won’t happen.

Alice steps closer to Yuri.

Hey, you two! Something’s going on!

Margarete runs down the stairs and barges in on the conversation.

Music: Manufacture - Conveyorbelt for Killers

<looks the pair over> Oopsie! Did I come at a bad time? Am I in the WAY, perhaps?
Yeah, just crash into this conversation like you did that plane.
You're never gonna let that go, huh?

What is it already?!
What’s going on?
S-something big! You two had better come outside… Let’s go!! <runs back upstairs>

Alice and Yuri run upstairs after Margarete.

We're back in control of Yuri. That conversation with Alice seems to have gotten him over his seasickness since he can run normally again. Let's go see what's the latest dilemma.

The boat’s turning circles in the same place, over and over.
Turning… circles?
Well here's your problem. Chin Guy isn't driving... piloting... steering? Whatever. Doing the thing that makes the boat go where you want.
Chin guy...?
Is there something wrong with the boat?

There’s nothing wrong with the motor, but for some reason, the boat won’t move forward. It’s as if… as if the boat was being held by something underwater…
You should die…

Music: Angel Heart

What was that voice?!
Someone needs to cut back a few packs of cigarettes a day.
It’s Li Li…
Li Li?!
She cursed me yesterday. I remember her voice quite vividly.
...That's fair.

<looks at the bow of the ship> What IS that?
<looks the same direction and jumps> H-here it comes!!

The mindless fish will pluck and poke at your rotting corpse, at you bulging eyeballs!
Here she comes, kid! So this was what was raising the hairs on the back of my neck…
Is this the ghost that cursed Alice?
Crazed drugged out eyes... bad haircut... poor posture. Yup, sure looks like it.
A g-g-ghost!?
What the actual fuck!?

Zhuzhen turns to Kawashima Smuggler Boss and Kato Courier Subordinate.

<nods> A-all right!
<approaches the ghost> Li Li!

Kato and Kawashima bolt the hell off the deck.

Incredibly rude breaking my curse! It was the one thing I had going!
Li Li, please, tell us what you want us to do! What can we do so that your soul may rest in peace?! What do you want from us?

Li Li teleports closer to the party.

Starting to feel like diplomacy ain't gonna cut it here, Alice.
It was worth a try.

Li Li teleports back to her initial position.

On-tei-naa… Kai-zei-chii-fuu-motsu-gyaku… On-tei-naa… On-tei-naa…

The deck flashes with energy as Li Li flinches in pain.

Master Zhuzhen?
No, that wasn't me. I've just been standing here. Did that sound anything like me? Honestly...
<nods> Heh heh heh. When did you get her, Sea Mother? You must have masked your presence.
What...? Why?
To lay this trap.
Oh. Did it... do anything?

You think you can suppress my spirit with your feeble “power”? Eeeeyyaaah!! DIIEEEEEE!!

LI LI uses THUNDERBOLT. It's super effective!


Zhuzhen runs up to the hatch and opens it. Sea Mother hops out from below coughing up a fit.

Sea Mother?!
So that's a "no" to "did that do anything?"

Sea Mother recomposes herself and faces Li Li.

You will not be made to suffer anymore. Now, calm your spirit!!

Guys, like all of you know magic fireballs and beam attacks or just have, ya know, a gun. Please stop letting this 80-year-old woman get struck by lightning repeatedly.

Sea Mama!!
Li Li, stop this!!
Feel like we should probably start kicking this ghost's ass before it teleports away again.
O-on… tei-naa… On-tei… naa… Kai-zei… chii-fuu…

Another flash of light makes Li Li wince in pain again.

Th-the pain…!! C-creatures of the deep, attack!! Drag these fools to the bottom of the ocean!!

Li Li vanishes in a blinding flash of light.

<turns to Sea Mother> Are you all right, Sea Mother? Why on earth did you do that?
The element of surprise is somewhat negated by the fact you need to scream an incantation...
<stands up> Forgive me, Master Zhuzhen. I… I just wanted to send Li Li off to Nirvana…
That was an old-fashioned exorcism you performed just now, yes?
That is... quaint...
Here, let me lend a hand. If it’s all the same, why don’t we place seals all over the boat to help Li Li’s spirit settle down?
Master Zhuzhen! Are you sure?
<nods> Think nothing of it. At this rate, the ship’s going nowhere for the time being. Well, let’s get to it, then.

Hey, kid. I’m going to put up a seal here. Help Sea Mother rest until I’m done. And I imagine the monsters will be attacking, so I need you to buy me some time, too.
I don't need them battling me at random while I'm doing my work.

So, our high seas exorcism begins! Tune in next time as we punch some evil spirits, spray some occult graffiti tags on the ship's deck and maybe bust a ghost or two as Shadow Hearts continues!

Li Li Portrait – Slightly more menacing than her in-game model of just Generic Chinese Female #6 with coked out wide eyes.